Trademarks and the Internet—More Related Than One Would Think!

Today, a vast majority of us use the Internet at least once a day. In fact, if you are reading this blog, you have just proven my point! Using the Internet has only gotten easier with search engines like Google and Yahoo. So naturally, from a business standpoint, it is smart to get as much Internet exposure as possible to market your product!

If you are just starting out, you want to pick a name that has terms that are already widely searched. For example, “[y]ou’d rather have a name like Moviefone than one like Fandango, because that is what someone is going to plug into a search engine. . .” suggests Allen P. Adamson, managing director of Landor Associates, a brand design firm. See New York Times.

But what Mr. Adamson also points out is that you will likely be challenged on that name-namely by gigantic corporations looking to put a financial burden on small companies trying to patent simple terms. Id. Professor Barton Beebe at New York University Law School who specializes in intellectual property law explained it as such: “If they can’t win in the marketplace, they try to soften them up with legal fees and distract them. Even if they lose the case, it’s a Pyrrhic victory because the small company has wasted so many resources.” Id.

So bottom line is that if you are thinking about trying out a new business venture, pick simple terms for the name of your product to enhance visibility, try to register your trademark immediately to protect your brand, and be prepared for intimidation from big corporations that chalk up a $1 Million dollar litigation bill to the costs of doing business.

We at Klose and Associates spend a great deal of time searching names, logos, and permutations of those names, tag lines and other trademarks trying to determine whether it makes sense to spend early capital on a name, letterhead, web-site design, and all of the other start up expenses of a young business with a name that might have to change.